Okay so this is more of an observational post. I'd like to talk about third-party toys. While a crude term to use would be 'pirated', I think if you look at the quality and price involved in certain third party products, especially for the Transformers toys, you can hardly call these works of art, pirates. Don't believe me? See for yourself. To avoid conflict or any accusations that I support third-party toys, I shall refrain from using the actual names of what some of the characters by third-party makers are supposed to be (although it's KINDAAAA obvious). I'll use instead, the names they give their products.
BRUTICUS (Early version) THIRD-PARTY
Yeah, pretty damn awesome huh?? The Bruticus you see on the right, my friends, is by third-party Transformers makers Fansproject. I believe they're a group based either in China or HK. Damn! Can you imagine the amount of design work that went into giving Bruticus that 'facelift'? Not surprisingly, Fansproject's products don't come cheap or common. You can find it on eBay for close to a whopping, wallet-burning $600. Eeks.
Want more third-party porn? How about iGear's (also HK-based) PP-series Faith Leader.
Hell, they even have custom-coloured trailers!
More awesome third-party characters - Hercules (by TFC):
Now if you're not familiar with how Fansproject works, some of their kits do not come complete. They are basically add-ons to original TF toys that are already out there. For example, their City Commander is a result of stacking the custom trailer on the left (which is by them), with the TF Henkei white Prime that you're assumed to have, on the right.
Now why didn't we think of that???
I don't know how they do it, perhaps there are loopholes in the HK laws that allow toymakers to come up with these designs that are obvious rip-offs of the original.
Do I support third-party products? Lets leave that out of the discussion. But my point here is just this - If third-party products are looking so much better than the originals, something is not right. Third-party products come at crazy prices since they do not have the economies of scale that the mainstream giants such as Hasbro possess, yet there is still a market for them. So where does that leave the big boys like Hasbro? I say, how about using your resources to come up with better-looking, yet cheaper products that will wipe them out? The market always wins. I don't have to study economics to know that. So make me some mecha-looking proportionate Transformers, and I'll buy whoever's product looks best. 'Nuff said!